Friday, April 1, 2011

Remembering how I looked for a job last year ...

I promised to write about my entire job hunting experience once I finally get hired. I earned my Journalism degree (with honors) from the country’s premiere state university last April 25. Though I never had illusions of getting offers without having to apply, I never expected job hunting to take three months. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times I passed/emailed my resume to prospective employers. Here are my most memorable moments:

*One Saturday last June, I got a call from a Makati City-based insurance company. The HR lady invited me for an interview the following week. Though I never heard of them before, I tried my luck for the position Assistant Communication Agent. Probably out of naiveté, I wrote P20, 000 as my expected pay. The HR lady asked, “Where did you get this?” She said she’d call after two days. She never did.

*I then sought a reportorial job for a business daily. I assume I passed the written and IQ tests there because the HR lady scheduled me for an interview with their managing editor. On the day of the interview, bad luck prevailed. Instead of dropping me off in E. Rodriguez Avenue (in Quezon City), the jeepney I rode took me to E. Rodriguez High School. I arrived 15 minutes late, and Mr. Managing Editor refused to even see me.

*Why not be an English teacher for Koreans? I applied in two such schools, one in Ortigas and one in Commonwealth. I decided not to pursue it just when I was about to start my training. By this time, the issue on pay has already been discussed to me. Teaching Koreans the very basics of English (similar to how we begin at Grade 1) requires tons of patience. Patience? I don’t know that word.

*Early this month, I applied to be a content writer for a web hosting company. The interview lasted for over an hour. It deviated from the normal question-and-answer scheme of things. The interviewer asked me about my job hunting experience and I told her that “it’s not the easiest experience I’ve had.” Instead of speaking to impress her, I found myself plainly expressing my thoughts. Though I didn’t pursue a full-time job with her company, I appreciated being able to speak out my mind.

Companies stress that “fresh graduates are welcome to apply” but when these job seekers (despite of their academic credentials) are pitted against more experienced applicants, the former isn’t likely to be hired. Both the employers and job hunters are choosy. The question is who can afford to be choosy for a longer time? Throughout my job hunting, I stood by my belief that I should only seek jobs commensurate to what I’ve studied.

Come to think of it, there will always be available positions for everyone. Of all the vacant jobs out there, we can only get one (in mot cases). Somehow, I never stopped believing that all of us have several career options, and we should take the time to study them. Before July ended, I already turned a new page in my life. Last Saturday (August 14), I got my first pay slip.

*Mark Pere Madrona, 20, is currently working as an assistant editor for a Quezon City-based book publishing company. He is currently a Master of Arts in History student in UP Diliman.

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